Cultural Postcards + [Turkey]

Near East: Another Byzantine structure rescued in Istanbul
The traces of a large cistern have been found during the construction of a hotel on land owned by the Armenian Catholic Mıhitaryan Monastery and School Foundation in Istanbul’s Şişli Halaskargazi neighborhood.

Another Byzantine structure rescued in Istanbul
The Byzantine-era cistern, which was about to be buried by construction vehicles, was 
rescued at the last minute after being noticed by an observer [Credit: Hurriyet]

The historical structure, which was about to be buried by construction vehicles, was rescued at the last minute after being noticed by an observer.

When they arrived in the area, archaeologists from the Istanbul Archaeology Museum found the structure, which is thought to be a Byzantine cistern, was about to be destroyed and buried.

Construction work was halted and a criminal complaint against the construction officials was made to the Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board.

Stating that construction workers should have informed the board or the nearest museum when they originally discovered the historical structure, the museum officials said there might be other historical structures on the land and further construction would be against the law.

Recently, a cistern-like, Byzantine-era structure was unearthed during the renovation of an underpass in Istanbul’s Beyazıt neighborhood. The construction company had tried to cover up the entrance to the structure to continue its work, but thanks to the keen eyes of a local citizen, it was rescued from being buried underground.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [November 27, 2014]